littlemsmack: (I'll Find You)
I began to think that the first step toward seeing the end is to come to terms with what it means to be right in the middle."

From this NYT op ed piece, "When is a War Over?"

It's the closing sentence, and aside the really interesting perspective the writer brings to the value of history, of storytelling, of learning from what has gone before throughout the piece, this sentence makes me want to stop and reflect on the PhD process. I've been busy panicking about the approaching end - dismissing questions of "what will you do after?" -with rejoinders that I'm too busy trying to write to even THINK about the end...but perhaps I do need to pause. See the trees and the wood - the PhD's not just the final written output, it's the journey as well (yup, trying for as many cliches as I can get into this sentence) and perhaps I really can't write the end, if I'm not sure about what's in the middle, and what being in the middle means.
littlemsmack: (CHARGE!)
 Latest bit of writing, in the wake of last week's announcement that the review into whether women should continue to be excluded from ground combat jobs will be a) started and b) completed by the end of the year.

See: Women in Combat: British Band of Brothers May Soon Be History
littlemsmack: (Default)
I wasn't one of those students at school who could memorise and recite whole passages, declaim texts as a parrot repeats words. Probably a good thing, because the achievement of flawless repetition would have occluded attempts to have the brain engage with what words actually mean, and think, not just speak. But even if I couldn't remember the exact content of a text, its style left a mark. Good prose that makes for pleasant reading, and the transfer of information, is a wonderful thing. 

I came across this entry about the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, and events around its evolution as the centenary of WWI approaches. A great entry in itself, it linked to former Prime Minister Keating's eulogy for the Unknown Soldier in 1993. And that is a wonderful text. Fascinating, to see the story told, and place it takes in the fabric of national memory and social legend.

I probably won't remember the text of the eulogy itself, but I shall certainly remember the sentiment and feelings it evoked in me, and that's what will prompt me to come back to it, at any point in the future.

May 2015

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